Sweden faces political deadlock after far-right gains

11 September, 2018, 07:42 | Author: Mable Gonzales
  • William Hahne vice chairman of the far-right

The picture emerging is one in which neither the centre-left or centre-right bloc of parties has a majority - and Sky's Michelle Clifford, reporting from Stockholm, said this could make the anti-immigration party "king makers".

The party also wants to hold a referendum on Sweden's European Union membership along the lines of the Brexit vote in the U.K. Despite a clear victory, Sweden Democrats seem to have gained less than one-fifth of votes and remain the third-largest party. Under different circumstances, its vote share of around 4.7% would put it in the position of kingmaker. Meanwhile, Poland and Hungary are outright controlled by far-left parties. In 2017 the far-right Alternative for Germany won 12.6 percent of votes, and The Danish People's Party won 21 percent in 2015.

Supporters celebrate at the Social Democratic Party's election night party in Stockholm on Sunday.

Leaders in Brussels will be disappointed with the party's surge ahead of the European Parliament's elections in May next year, as they bid to discourage euroskepticism following the UK's decision to leave the EU, and as populist parties form alliances to shake up the EU establishment ahead of the vote. The Conservatives were the biggest losers, down 3.5% compared to 2014.

The Sweden Democrats emerged with 63 MPs, up from 49, leaving them in a strong position.

Both the left-leaning bloc led by the Social Democrats and the centre-right bloc in which the Moderates is the largest of four parties have said they would refuse to consider the Sweden Democrats as a coalition partner. While this performance was much better than predicted in pre-election polls, it is the party's poorest result since 1908.

Lofven said he would not resign and called for cross-party co-operation.

Responding to the result, Spanish newspaper El País labelled the elections "unprecedented" and described the contest as a "vote between integration and xenophobia".

Akesson's remarks, and the raw tone unusual in Swedish debates, triggered a wave of criticism in media and political spheres.

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In Sweden, to enter Parliament, a party has to pass the 4-percent threshold. This means that a minority can govern, as long as it doesn't have a majority against it in the Riksdag. The current blocs are the so called "Red-Green" bloc, which was set up by the Social Democrats before the 2010 general election, and the Alliance, which was established by four centre-right parties in 2004.

All traditional parties have shunned cooperation with Sweden Democrats, which makes the government formation unusually hard.

The country now faces weeks of uncertainty as both blocs engage in frantic horse-trading to try to form the next government.

He is backed as candidate for the premiership by the Centre party (8.6 percent), the Liberals (5.5 percent) and the Christian Democrats (6.4 percent). Another voter indicated that she was scared of what support for the Sweden Democrats might mean for the country, stating that "the future of our attractive open society is threatened".

This fragmentation is part of a wider trend of political volatility in Europe.

"The parties who have been true to their ideological grounds ― they are the only parties who have raised in support".

According to the most recent official survey from 2005, foreign-born Swedes are more than twice as likely to be suspects in criminal investigations. This suggests that political identity is being diluted. Most notably, he's been an outspoken critic of the rising number of immigrants in Sweden. An exit poll ranking the issues citizens placed at the top of their agenda saw classic welfare topics such as healthcare, education, gender equality, law and order and elderly care come out on top.

The results show Sunday's vote was one of the toughest challenges in decades to Sweden's social democracy, characterized by its high tax rates and substantial welfare system, aimed at reducing inequality through social inclusion.

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